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Watford v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship - Vicarage Road

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Roker Roundtable: “What would be a good return from Sunderland’s next two home games?”

Preston and Blackpool will both visit the Stadium of Light in the space of three days, so how many points would we be happy with by next Wednesday?

Photo by Steven Paston/PA Images via Getty Images

Kevin Barker says...

I’m hoping for six points from the next two games.

Home advantage and some strong recent performances has maybe raised my expectations a little highly, but these are games against two poor teams with sketchy form.

Most importantly, we need to maintain the level of performance and quality of football. If we draw one and win the other, but do it in the right way with attractive attacking play and 100% commitment, I won’t have any complaints.

It will be interesting to see how Tony Mowbray sets the team out if Ellis Simms and Dennis Cirkin are fully fit, either making changes or sticking with the team that have delivered.

I can’t wait for Saturday to see some of the new lads in the flesh for the first time and the overall positive feeling should make for another cracking atmosphere.

Watford v Sunderland - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Ian Horrocks/Sunderland AFC via Getty Images

Andrew Smithson says...

Six points is certainly achievable and I daresay that the staff and players will be targeting two wins, but I don’t think we are at a stage where we can take them for granted.

The form of both Preston North End and Blackpool has been patchy, but you can never rule anything out at this level. We also have to look at our own situation, and whilst we are going well right now, the age and experience of the squad suggests there will be some ups and downs to come.

That is not meant as a criticism, just an acceptance of the fact that we are new to the Championship and that some of these lads are still learning.

There is also the injury list to consider, and whilst the absences haven’t caught up with us yet, playing two games in four days without the chance to freshen it up too much and with some players still settling in the area is not ideal.

It would be great to get a couple of stress-free home wins under our belt, but I do get the feeling that we need to take things as they come this season, and I have gotten used to the idea that not everything will go to plan.

All that said, I am actually pretty confident and will be looking forward to the games, particularly under the lights on Tuesday. Going to matches is enjoyable these days, and whatever happens I am sure the team will put a shift in, and for now, that will do me just fine.

Sunderland v Queens Park Rangers - Sky Bet Championship Photo by Michael Driver/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Malc Dugdale says…

I’d be happy with four points from six and to maintain an average of two points per game. If we can take all six, given our injury concerns, that would be a great statement.

Two wins will also cater for times to come when the opposition may be stronger and we can expect less. We need to take points from teams expected to be around us, in order to stay with those who are right with us, or slightly above us in the league.

Both teams have only won one of their last five, although Preston did enjoy decent away wins at Luton and Coventry in August.

Blackpool have won away at QPR and Huddersfield, and took a good point from a six-goal thriller at Burnley, but they also took a hiding away at Rotherham, and we totally outplayed the Millers, so we have to take the game to the Seasiders.

We have won two and drawn one of our last five, so recent form can be an odd bar to judge by at times. Most fans are happy with our recent returns and performances, but the quality of our opponents is also a factor.

We should have more options available, with the return of Dennis Cirkin and Ellis Simms hopefully not far away, but even without them, we can give anyone a game.

I will say I can’t wait for it to all come back. Weekends simply aren’t the same without Lads games, though the Lasses did a good job filling the gap this weekend, for sure.

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